What is it with world leaders, handshakes and Donald Trump?
Apparently, when any handshake is too tight for the media’s’ liking — or when the handshake isn’t proffered, as was the case with Angela Merkel — all of a sudden, the media lights up like a Christmas tree.
The latest incident involves the newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron, who decided he would test President Trump’s grip at the NATO summit on Thursday in Brussels.
According to NBC News, the handshake heard ’round the world began earlier when President Trump, upon greeting Macron, “practically grabs the Frenchman’s hand and shakes it like he’s sawing wood.” Then later, this happened:
The handshake seemed like a hearty one, likely held a bit longer than usual for the photo opportunity. Maybe the respective presidents were testing the other’s grip, but alas, I don’t have a magic iPhone app that can see inside their heads. If anyone was acting odd here, it was Macron, who seems to have a look of genuine malice on his face as he pumps Trump’s hand.
It didn’t take long, however, for the media to assume that it was part of a geopolitical showdown of epic proportions — and furthermore, that it was all Donald Trump’s fault.
CNN — they of the “very fake news” moniker — noted that “Trump seems to view the handshake as a sort of battle of wills and a battle for power all wrapped into one” and that his “go-to handshake move is the tug-and-pull.”
Reuters — which, last I checked, was supposed to be an impartial wire service — reported that: “Each man gripped each other’s right hand so firmly that their knuckles turned white and their jaws seemed to clench as they sat down for a face-to-face meeting.”
Apparently, the handshake made Macron and Trump look like two people who’d accidentally taken a double dose of their Ritalin and were locked in the midst of a terrible stimulant rush. Except it didn’t. It looked like a handshake that Macron was using as an opportunity to assert himself. This seems like a lot of hyperbole for a pathetic spectacle on the Frenchman’s part.
While this isn’t quite up there with CNN’s now-infamous “story” about how the president got two scoops of ice cream while everyone else got one, it’s in the same vein. Apparently, there’s some sort of monetary penalty at the Clinton News Network for missing any opportunity to make President Trump look inhuman.
If anything, the problem here is Macron, who seemed determined to win this imaginary handshake contest. Where are the stories about how the French president is a vain, egotistical man? Where are the 1,000-word thinkpieces about his handshake style?
Talk about a double standard.
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